San Francisco is an intimidating town. We have spent the past six weeks in the forest and deserts of America, and then all of a sudden we’re coming up on Oakland and SF back to back, connected by bridges.
I’ve been dodging bison and elk for four weeks. Now I’m darting in an out of traffic in a city full of fog, narrow streets, and rollercoaster hills. Though the city is about six miles wide, it is tight and not easy to navigate.
It reminded me of Lima, Peru, in a way. Add a few trolleys and hills, and it’s about the same.
It also put us only a few miles from the Muir Wood Forest National Park, which is called a National Monument. Teddy Roosevelt got the trees passed as monuments instead of a park.
We were 20 minutes from Muir Woods and 15 minutes from Alcatraz, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Golden Gate Bridge. It was the perfect spot.
We settled in around 9 PM on Thursday night, after about five hours of driving from Fresno. We slept in on Friday, which has become a normal course of action for us, and then spent nearly the entire day in Muir Woods Forest.
Later in the day we trekked back to the Golden Gate, but it was not in time to beat the fog. It came rolling in from the north and had most of the bridge covered by the time we got there. It was also windy and blustering cold.
We had our hoodies on, while trying to gain a good foothold from the wind, as we sought out the scenic viewpoints for the bridge. It was more of an ordeal than worth it, but we gave it a shot anyway.
We then went down to the Fisherman’s Wharf to walk around and eat. Zillions of people, all over the place. It was a far cry from where we had been up to this point.
Nevertheless, I loved the city. It had character at every turn, as well as history, It was oozing with his, old and new.
There were every kind of mode of travel known to man: bikes, walkers, runners, roller bladers, rickshaws, cars, trolleys, and miniature go-kart type things. These folks know how to get around, and they all work well together.
It was really a beautiful town, and like all the other places we’ve been, there is never enough time to see it all. This entire trip has been like skipping a rock across a pond: we’ve hit a few spots, but never stayed long enough in any one place to fully benefit from it.